Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Muskie Madness!

                                             Leech Lake            


Oh the Summer Peak Period (Water temps reach mid 70s) is one of the best times of years to put those fish with the biggest teeth in the net!  With the warmer water temps the muskie's metabolism also rises which means they have to feed more often to sustain a diet.  That means fish are active more times throughout the day giving you, the angler, more chances at casting your lure past the top of the line predator.

If you have read anything about chasing muskies in Minnesota Leech Lake is always one that is on top of the list.  There is hundreds upon thousands of spots to fish.  The first thing I always track as a fishing guide on the lake is the bite in the weeds or rocks going?  If the weed bite is strong there are many great long shoreline stretches to focus on.  I spend hours searching on flat calm sunny days looking for fresh cabbage growth.  I mark them out by utilizing my GPS on my Lowrance.  I literally know exactly where my lure is landing with each cast.  If the rocks are hot I will then focus on the main lake rock points and mid lake structure.  Doing the same on calm days I have had these spots marked out for years and unlike the weedgrowth they don't change from year to year.

My go to lure in the summer months is a bucktail.  Last season with no doubt, especially on calm days, we caught way more muskies on smaller bucktails, like my favorite, the Bigtooth Tackle JUICE Mini.  If the wind is rockin we sometimes would up the blade size to the JUICE Mag 8 or 10.  I have two favorite colors the "Halo" and "Honey Bear" color.  They are as natural of a color as it gets.  

One other tip is that we caught several fish, even in flat calm days, during the middle of the day last year.  I think with the given pressure during key times, like sunrise and sunset, fish would get pushed off of the community spots.  Stick with it and keep casting to good spots!  
 
Love the chase,
 
Jeff Andersen
 
                                                                  Mille Lacs Lake
                                                                          
As our summer water temps begin to increase, so does the activity and feeding of the Mille Lacs muskies.  Following the spawn, many of the larger fish in Mille Lacs move out over open water to begin recuperating and feeding.  Due to the vastness and bowl like features of Mille Lacs, these fish become challenging to target and effectively fish.  However, once the waters move into the low to upper 70 degree mark, many of these fish will often begin to show up on predictable weed and rock areas throughout the lake.  Identify the thickest patches and beds of cabbage and other weeds and you can bet there are muskies nearby.  Rocks can also be effective on Mille Lacs throughout the summer months and should not be overlooked.  These areas are often most productive immediately following or during a consistent wind which may move bait up onto the structure.  Focus on identifying the highest “crown” on the reef and start there.
 
Summer time muskie fishing on Mille Lacs allows anglers to use a variety of presentations but undoubtedly one of the most effective and exciting is topwater.  Walk the dog and prop style baits are great choices.  The other top producers are always in- line spinners in a variety of blade sizes.  Painted blades appear to outproduce metallic blades on cloudy days but experimenting is always required.  Other daytime favorites include rubber baits such as Bulldawgs as well as jerk and crank baits.  These baits all appear to increase dramatically in effectiveness when they are fished in a fashion where they make contact with the structure.  Mille Lacs lake muskies are notorious for pulling a Houdini act during much of the day, making the saying, “The night time is the right time,”  even more true.  Large in-line spinners and slow moving topwaters are always top choices for night bites.  Mille Lacs Lake offers some of the greatest trophy class fish found throughout MN and the entire country.  Take the time to learn a specific section or area of the lake and your rewards might be huge.
 
Go find your trophy!
 
Jim Kath

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